In student ministry, Jesus and pizza go together like peanut butter and jelly. The era of “youth ministry” is slowly fading, and the era of discipleship making needs to make its voice heard.
Top 3 Student Ministry Myths:
1. Buy pizza and they will come.
Pizza and more pizza. I think we’re all sick of pizza. In fact, I believe students are looking for more than just food when they come to a student event or gathering. While pizza, music and games are great accessories to any student ministry, they
cannot be the foundation in which a ministry is built on. They can never be. Disciple making must be the #1 priority. Why? Because everything else flows from the essence of discipleship.
If we’re not making disciples, we’re not fulfilling our calling as Christ-followers.
I have this gut-wrenching feeling that many students will move off to college with nothing learned from church except food, games and shiny events. None of these things are bad, but they aren’t the crux of what will keep a student fixated on the face of Jesus once walking into the real world. Discipleship is key.
2. Students have a short attention span.
Many people believe that students have a short attention span. And while this may be true to some degree, the reality is that most anybody has a short attention span if they’re honest. Students will pay attention as long as we can hold their attention. If you find this isn’t for very long, then you need to practice getting better at it. We all do. Take some public speaking classes, get wisdom from more experienced leaders, and evaluate the way you present your messages.
If you find individuals dozing off during your sermons, then maybe it’s time to up the energy, make your sermons more applicable to the age group you are speaking to, or start opening up some deeper content. Don’t let something as silly as a short attention span keep you from diving deeper into God’s word. There is too much at stake.
3. Students aren’t capable of digesting deep content.
Students are smarter than we give them credit for. And while many pastors withhold “deep content” due to the thought of it being indigestible, I think most students are hungry for more than we’re actually giving them. Introduce your students to basic theology, dogmatic theology, or event apologetics. Go through whole books of the bible, create discipleship programs, and give students the tools necessary to dig as deep as they want.
We must increase our expectations a decreasing generation of Christ followers. We must press harder than we ever have before. We must not worry about what is popular, but instead what is biblical. We must pursue that of Christ, and direct students towards the purpose of the cross.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”